Candidates reflect on what worked, what didn't in House District 32 primary

6 News Reporter-HAYLEY HARMON

LENOIR CITY (WATE) - Tennessee House District 32 will have a new representative in Nashville.

Rep. Julia Hurley lost Thursday's Republican primary after serving one term. Former Roane County Commissioner Kent Calfee took 55% of the vote, while Hurley garnered 45%.

Hurley and Calfee say they have not spoken to one another since the results came in and don't intend to either. They're each trying to look to the future instead.

Kent Calfee says he had a feeling Thursday night's numbers would come out in his favor. "We got to feeling pretty good about the time early voting started, and we were just getting lots of positive feedback from both Roane and Loudon counties," he said.

However, setting out to beat an incumbent was going to be tough. "It's hard to do and we knew it was an uphill battle from the beginning, and we think that gives us a lot of momentum going into the November election," Calfee said.

Hurley says she also had a feeling about this election. "I'm not shocked at all. I wasn't. My family and I had prepared for this election to go either way," she said.

She understands how hard it is to unseat an incumbent, which she did herself.

"I took a seat that they had had for 18 years, and they worked very very hard to get it back. They chose a candidate who had voted half and half, and that's wonderful. The voters decided what they wanted," Hurley said.

She says she believes crossover voting contributed to her loss. "The Democrats came out and voted in the Republican primary and they got their candidates. You've got to commend them, you really do," she said.

Hurley says just because she lost this election doesn't mean the end of her political career. "One door closes. One door opens so we're just keeping a positive outlook for the future," she said.

As the door opens for Calfee, "It's not there yet," he said. "I have another election to win first."

Come November, Calfee will face Democrat Jack McNew and independent Alan Cole.

McNew says he was watching this race very closely. "I didn't know which would survive, but I knew I'd face one of them. Both of them had their advantages and disadvantages so we'll play the game we have," he said.

Calfee says he's already planning on campaigning in many of the same spots he hit this election, but he'll try to cover even more ground before November.

Hurley says she isn't sure what office she will run for in the future.